After being diagnosed with breast cancer in February 2014 Michelle Perzan knew she had to make a choice and she decided to lean on her faith and have a positive attitude through her “storm”. In October 2016, she released her book called: Strength In My Storm: Faith and Breast Cancer in the hopes that she could encourage people going through their own storms.
After writing her book and having so many people reach out to her, she knew she had to do more. So, Michelle and her husband Aaron created the GEST Foundation Inc., in memory of her family members that she lost to cancer.
GEST: G for her mama Gemma, E for her dad Elmer and Baba Elsie, S for her oldest brother Steven and T for her maiden name Trakalo.
Mission Statement: “To make a difference in the lives of cancer diagnosed individuals during their journey to recover; by providing emotional, spiritual and financial support during their storm.”
Having all their family in Canada it was a challenge recovering from multiple surgeries, and she was fortunate to have her husband Aaron work from home to help in all day to day needs with her and their three boys who were only 7, 5 and 3 at the time.
The months after surgery tend to be the most difficult for those undergoing treatment for cancer. However, Michelle understands that not everyone has the support system she was fortunate to have during her journey. Therefore, Michelle’s vision is to provide a support system for those who do not have one, or who just need a little extra help.
“We created this foundation to reach people in the community that are dealing with any kind of cancer treatment and post-surgery issues. Our mission is to find those people, and provide grants to help with their needs.” – Michelle Perzan, Founder
The GEST Foundation Inc. will provide grants for people for things like grocery delivery, home cleaning, home wound care, transportation or even counselling to help with the internal wounds that come with facing the news “you have cancer.” These are the small day to day things you don’t think of yet are so needed and insurance does not cover them.
“Being a cancer survivor myself, I decided to join the GEST Foundation. I personally know Michelle and Aaron. Their hearts desire to serve the community is something that I wanted to get behind and be a part of. I see the potential of GEST and what it will become.” – Tony Cogliandro, GEST Board of Directors
The funds raised by the GEST Foundation, Inc. will be raised through multiple fundraisers, events and volunteers throughout the community. Our Board of Directors, and multiple committee volunteers are working and planning for our main event/fundraiser fast approaching.
Please join us on Sunday September 24th, 2017 at Cane Island from 2-5pm for Katy’s 1st annual Reign Over Cancer (ROC) Walk which is aimed to recognize people in the community that are currently undergoing treatment, highlight survivors, and raise money. You can register as an individual or a team today online at www.GESTfoundation.org. A limited number of complimentary/sponsored walk registrations are available for cancer survivors and caregivers as well on the website thanks to our generous sponsors.
All proceeds raised by the GEST Foundation Inc. will remain in the community. It is the mission of Michelle and the GEST Foundation, Inc., to help thousands of people undergoing cancer treatment and their families.
To be able to start providing grants, we need your help in funding. The quicker we get donations and sponsorship, the sooner we can start accepting applications for the grants and give back to the community and those in need.
“I believe we go through things to make us stronger and build our faith – it’s what we do afterwards that makes a difference and this is my turn to give back.” Michelle Perzan, Founder
For more information about this 501c3 organization, how to donate, become a sponsor or how to submit a grant, please contact Michelle Perzan at 832-377-1367 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.